1. Look to see what colleges will be attending the fair. For most college fairs you can find a list of schools that will be attending. It is worth getting a copy of this list and going through it to see if there are any colleges that you are considering on the list. Go through and highlight them and consider going to their tables first. You might also find other schools that you weren’t aware of that you want to talk to. No matter what, it is nice to at least know who will be in attendance to make sure you don’t miss visiting with any schools.
2. Register in advance. Many colleges these days are using electronic scanners at the fairs. You can register in advance online, put in all of your information (such as name, birthdate, address, email, etc), and print out a barcode that the colleges can scan during the fair. This will save you and the colleges time. You won’t have to fill out the little contact cards at each table and the colleges won’t have to manually enter your information when they get back to campus.
3. Come up with questions to ask the colleges. Most college reps standing behind the fair table dread the general “tell me about your college” question. Instead, come up with questions that are specific to you and your interests. This will help you gain a better understanding of how the school fits your goals.
4. Get the admissions rep’s business card. Often, the admissions representative standing behind the table will be the representative for your region. They might be the one interviewing you in the fall or reading your application. It will be good to have their contact information if you need to get in touch with them at any point during the process.
5. Be patient. College fairs can be very busy and very crowded. You might end up waiting in line to talk to a college of your choice. Be patient and know that you will have your turn. Showing your frustration, agitation or being rude to the other students and parents will not help your case in front of the admissions representative. If the wait looks long, go talk to another school and come back.
For more tips on getting the most out of your college fair check out our previous blog posts: